Oral cancer – symptoms and treatment

Oral cancer – symptoms and treatment

As you may be aware that cancer is characterized by indefinite growth of cells that attack and injure the surrounding tissues. Oral cancer appears as an augmentation or sore in the mouth which does not heal. It includes the cancer on the lips, tongue, cheeks, mouth, palate, sinuses and throat. If left unnoticed it may lead to life threatening condition.

Oral cancer 3

Signs and symptoms

    • You may notice swelling, lumps, crusts or wrinkled spots on the lips, gum surfaces and other areas in the mouth.
    • There will be velvety white and red patches in the mouth.
    • Unusual bleeding in the mouth.
    • You will have numbness or loss of sensation, pain on mouth, face and neck area.
    • Sores or ulcers on the mouth, face and neck which does not heal for more than two weeks.
    • You may feel that something is stuck in the throat.
    • You will have trouble in chewing, swallowing or moving the jaw or tongue.
    • Severe Sore throat, gruffness and change in the voice tone.
    • Pain in the ear
    • Sudden loss in weight
    • A change in the arrangement of your teeth.

Who are at risk to get an oral cancer?

    • People who smoke cigar, cigarette or pipe smokers will have high chances of getting oral cancer.
    • A person who use snuffs and chew tobacco has fifty times more chances of developing oral cancer.
    • Those who consume more alcohol develop oral cancer.
    • Family or genetic link.
    • Exposure to the sun at the young age
    • Infection with Human Papilloma Virus is associated with pharyngeal cancer.

 How it is diagnosed?

Your doctor will do an oral screening and look out for any swelling or unusual changes in the head, face, neck and oral parts. The doctor will look for ulcers or some discolored tissues and ask for any of the symptoms mentioned before. If the doctor finds out suspicious tissues an oral biopsy is conducted. The biopsy will confirm the presence of cancer cells and the extent of the spread.

How it can be treated?

Oral cancer is usually treated by surgery to excise the tumor and is usually followed by treatment with radiation therapy and chemotherapy to destroy the remaining tumor cells present.

Things to follow to prevent the oral cancer:

    • Quit smoking and use of to tobacco or alcohol must be avoided.
    • Consume a well balanced diet.
    • Avoid exposing in sun as too much exposure can cause cancer of the lips. Use sunscreen lotions when stepping out to the sun.
    • Do self exams to find out any unusual changes in neck, mouth, lips and gums.
    • Visit doctor periodically as he/she may point out the cancer in the early stages.